Revenue’s online service back in action after further technical issues

Amnesty for late filers from 5% surcharge as technical glitches cripple pay and file system

Typically, the service receives about 3,000 submissions per hour during this period

Typically, the service receives about 3,000 submissions per hour during this period

 

Revenue’s online service is back working again after technical glitches crippled the system for the second day running , just as tens of thousands of self-employed people were looking to file their annual tax returns.

The tax authorities have now said that they will not apply a late filing surcharge on anyone who files by the end of this week. That replaces an earlier extension of their filing deadline to 6pm on Wednesday.

Ordinarily, Revenue penalises late filers with a charge equivalent to 5 per cent of the tax due.

Revenue, which was forced to take the system known as ROS back offline on Wednesday morning, blamed the high level of traffic for the inability of users to log into their accounts and file their returns.

ROS was inaccessible for most of Tuesday, as between 3,000 and 4,000 self-employed people an hour tried to file their annual tax returns. On Wednesday morning, Revenue said the system had again experienced some issues leading it to make it temporarily unavailable.

One accountant who contacted The Irish Times said the service had been working so slowly on Wednesday morning it was impossible to use. Other accountants expressed concerns that the technical issues may also cause payroll problems for employers due to PAYE modernisation.

A spokeswoman for Revenue said that ROS was back online as of 1pm on Wednesday, with some 16,000 submissions having been received on Wednesday.

The technical issues that began on Tuesday occurred on what is the busiest week of the year for self-assessed and self-employed income taxpayers.

Typically, the service receives about 3,000 submissions per hour during this period.

While October 31st is the deadline for taxpayers filing paper returns, these days those are in the minority. Most self-assessed taxpayers file online, where they have an extended deadline of November 12th.

According to one tax adviser, the majority of taxpayers file on deadline day because they are raising funds to pay their tax bill or making a final pension contribution in advance of the deadline.

According to Revenue’s 2018 annual report, just shy of 730,000 people are registered for self-assessed income tax.